APRIL 13, 2012

Welcome to the Patient Safety Update eNewsletter
This issue sponsored by The Quality Colloquium

Physicians Wade into Efforts to Curb Unnecessary Treatments
The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (The ABIM Foundation is affiliated with but separate from the American Board of Internal Medicine) has announced a program to advise physicians and patients on the use of unnecessary services. The program, called Choosing Wisely, comprises 5 target procedures from 9 professional societies suggesting that physicians and patients question the use of these services to reduce overutilization which is estimated by some to be as much as one third of all medical spending. More societies are expected to contribute their lists later this year. (Kaiser Health News, April 4)

Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its 2012 Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2012 User Comparative Database Report from 1,128 U.S. hospitals, the provides initial results that hospitals can use to compare their patient safety culture to other U.S. hospitals. This report adds results for 650 hospitals who have participated more than once allowing trending analysis. (AHRQ, April 2012)

Consumer Reports Investigation: Many Medical Implants Such as Surgical Mesh and Metal-on-Metal Hips Never Tested for Safety, Leaving Patients at Risk
Consumer Reports has released the results of an investigation into device implants (surgical mesh, Lap-Bands, metal hips, and cardiac devices). The report finds that many implants have never been tested and manufacturers must only complete a form and pay a fee prior to introducing a new to the market. Nancy Metcalf of Consumer Reports refers to the approval process as "...our broken regulatory system." The report is available at www.ConsumerReports.org. (PR Newswire, March 28)

ECRI Institute Releases Update Patient Safety and Reporting System
ECRI's Patient Safety Organization (PSO) has released an updated version of its adverse event reporting system which is fully compliant with AHRQ's requirements. (Sacramento Bee, April 10)

Texas Medical Institute of Technology Patient Safety Event
The Texas Medical Institute of Technology is holding a conference and webinar entitled "Patient Safety and High Performance Leadership in Health Information Technology (HIT) Summit". The Summit runs from 10:00 AM through 4:00 PM on April 27th featuring an important array of speakers. (TMIT, April 2012)

Hospital Shuts Down Services after Patient Safety Violations
The Pennsylvania State Health Department completed a surprise investigation on March 23, 2012 finding serious patient safety issues of noncompliance with Medicare and Medicaid regulations that resulted in new admissions being barred and the closing of the emergency room and laboratory with only long-term care residents remaining. The hospital is now filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (FierceHealthcare, April 5)

Health-care Providers: Drug Shortages Scar Patient Safety
Senator Dick Durbin, (D-IL), during a visit to Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, IL, reported that the results of his visits with hospital officials throughout the state on the subject of critical drug shortages has left him determined to see the passage of his "Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act," which he has co-sponsored. The Act calls for manufacturers to notify the FDA of impending shortages, to notify providers and to work with them on contingency plans. (Lake County News-Sun, April 4)

DC Medicaid Plan Launches Diabetes Texting Pilot

Based on research demonstrating that patients do better when actively involved with their own care, D.C. Chartered Health Plan, Inc. has begun an initial pilot program to test the effects of a two-way texting for diabetes patients. If the program is success it will be expanded to the program to other diseases.

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Paying for Quality not Performance

Norbert Goldfield, MD
3M Health Information, Wallingford, CT